This is the day the Lord has made! Rejoice! Beth and I made our last payment on our van! Woo-hoo! We paid it off nine months early! It wasn’t easy. I had to take a second job, but man is that $400 a month we will now have AWESOME!!!!
We are getting out of debt because we want to bless others and not just buy loads of crap for ourselves. The borrower is slave to the lender, and soon enough, we will be debt free but the house! it will be a total turn around of $1100 a month when we get there!
Thanks to my wife Beth, and my kids for putting up with daddy working a couple nights a week delivering pizzas. I’m so sorry I got us in this hole to start with, but hopefully I teach you better so you are NEVER in this place.
Also, thanks to Dave Ramsey, you inspire me, and your teachings have changed our family tree!
I was reading in James 2 today, and ran into this little ditty:
“But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.” (vs 18-19)
Wow! If I have faith in God, but it does not lead to me actually obeying, and doing what He says, my faith is dead, and equal to that of demons. Ouch, that hurts so good.
Here is the entire passage, James 2:14-26 (NIV)
“What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save them? Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds. You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder.
You foolish person, do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar? You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. And the scripture was fulfilled that says, “Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him as righteousness,” and he was called God’s friend. You see that a person is considered righteous by what they do and not by faith alone.
In the same way, was not even Rahab the prostitute considered righteous for what she did when she gave lodging to the spies and sent them off in a different direction? As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead. “
I got to sleep in this morning. Our company takes Martin Luther King Jr. as a holiday. I cannot simply just mentally check out for the day, I have to remember why I have the day off. Not only that, I have an obligation to my children to explain to them why daddy gets the day off. So, this morning we took a half hour remembering Dr. King.
I have five kids, ages two through nine, so it wasn’t easy. For them to really understand, I walked them through how Christopher Columbus came over, and how many Europeans followed him (eventually including my Irish ancestors), then we forced the natives off their land for our benefit. Soon after that, we found that there were people in Africa that we could buy or steal, bring them here, and force them to work for us. Many were treated worse than animals, and were bought sold, and disposed of like property.
Eventually some leaders in our country realized this was horrible, and that our founding fathers new that God created us equally, so we should treat all people that way, so we had a war. After the Civil War, the slaves were free to own property, and work for themselves, but in many ways were still treated as less than human.
They had to use different bathrooms, restaurants, and transportation. They were not allowed to have a voice in Washington DC, because they were not allowed to vote. There were many people who started to take a public stand against this treatment, including Dr. King. He took a stand, and as a minister, tried to remind people that God made us all, and we are to look at the heart of a man, and not the color of his skin.
For this, he was shot and killed: for the love and passion of a dream. He is an example to us. No, a hero. He is a beacon to show us that no matter how dark our world may seem, that one man, yes, only one, can make a difference. One can change the course of a nation, or the world, and that one could be you or me.
Also, this is a day where we can examine our own hearts. Are we treating others as we ought to? No matter their skin color, ethnicity, or religious grouping? Are we loving them as God has called us? Even to the point of laying down our pride and selfish ambitions and putting them before us? I know I still have work to do.
With that, here are a couple of videos we watched today about Dr. King. Please watch them and remember, so we don’t walk down this road again.
One of my favorite TV shows is House (NBC), so when Tyndale Publishers gave me the opportunity to review a book by a neurosurgeon, I couldn’t pass it up. In Gray Matter, Dr. David Levy documents his journey of adding care for the individual’s spiritual needs into his medical practice.
He begins with asking patients if he can pray with them before surgery, progresses to talking some patients through forgiveness and releasing bitterness as part of their overall health. Each Chapter recounts several surgeries with incredible detail, and how patients and colleagues react to the unexpected request from Dr. Levy to pray.
Dr. Levy also gets quite personal, sharing some of his failures, and how he coped with not being able to help everyone, despite his best efforts. His stories are filled with faith and hope and have inspired me to step out and ask those I am in contact with everyday if I can pray with them.
Thanks to Tyndale House Publishers for providing me with a complimentary ARC of Gray Matter.
Here is an audio clip from Damon Thompson about how some of us are vaccinated with God instead of infected. In other words, we have enough that we aren’t in danger of spreading the Gospel to anyone else.